“…to Allah we belong and to Him we shall all return.”
[The Holy Quran, 2:156]
To the respected believers in North America,
Peace be upon you (Assalamu Alaykum).
With great sadness and sorrow, The Council of Shia Scholars of North America mourns the demise of one of our most senior scholars, Allamah Dr. Ahmad Mahdavi Damghani (may Allah elevate his status) who recently passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after almost ninety-six years of tireless hard work, contribution, and giving to Islam and humanity. In accordance with his will, he will be buried in Mashhad, Iran. We extend our condolences to the Imam of the Time (p), the ‘ulāma’, scholars, and the Shia Muslim community of North America at his passing.
Dr. Mahdavi Damghani is the son of late Ayatollah Shaykh Mohammad Kadhem Damghani (May Allah elevate their status) who was one of the well-known scholars in Mashhad, Iran. Dr. Damghani started his traditional hawzah religious studies (seminary) in Mashhad. At one time, he was a classmate of His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Sistani (May Allah prolong his life). After migrating to the U.S., Dr. Damghani had been teaching Islamic Studies, Persian Literature and Poetry, Islamic History, and Mysticism at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania since 1987. Dr. Damghani was also a prolific author who authored several books and many articles during his academic life.
After such a great loss, many scholars and community leaders issued condolence statements sharing their sympathy, including Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Sistani.
The late Dr. Damghani supported, advised, and always showed kindness to the Council of Shia Scholars of North America, and especially to the I.M.A.M. organization from 2004 till last year when his health significantly declined.
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (p), is reported to have said: “When a learned [religious scholar] dies a void occurs in Islam that nothing will fill except if he is succeeded by one like him…”. Like all great scholars, he will also never die. His books, articles, lectures, and students are his perpetual charity which will continue to benefit the community even after his passing. May Allah (swt) bless his soul and raise him with our beloved infallibles, the Prophet and his holy progeny (peace and blessing upon them). May Almighty Allah (swt) accept his endeavors and elevate his status. The Council also extends its sincere condolences to his family on their loss, especially to the Iranian community, and may Allah (swt) give us all strength to bear this loss.
On behalf of The Council
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Secretary-General
20 Dhu al-Qidah, 1443 AH, June 20, 2022